Operation to save 13 miners trapped under rock and ice ends fruitlessly

Thirteen miners trapped at a depth of 147 meters pronounced dead

The rescue operation at Pioneer Mine in the Amur region of Russia, was stopped due to the threat of repeated collapses and the risk for rescuers.

Thirteen miners who were trapped underground will be pronounced dead, the director of the mine, Alexey Afanasyev said. All the hollows inside the mine where workers could hide are filled with water, clay and ice. There is no chance to rescue them, the official said.

Rescuers drilled five wells into different horizons of mine excavations.

"We examined these wells using special video cameras and established that all the excavations were filled with water, ice, rock mass and there is simply no free space left in them," Alexey Afanasyev said.

There are no people left above the level at which the mine is full, which was known in the first days of the rescue operation. In addition, there is a possibility for repeated rock fall and flooding. The rescue operation lasted for two weeks.

Th accident at Pioneer Mine in the Amur region occurred on the evening of March 18. Thirteen people were trapped under the rubble; their last location was recorded at a depth of 147 meters. The volume of collapsed rock was estimated at over 194,000 cubic meters.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov